Monday, October 14, 2019

how we can find hope in leaves and homelessness


Ten of my newest friends live on cardboard under a bridge and last night we had a birthday party. 

The birthday boy turned 54. I got 12 cupcakes for $9.99 at Kroger, stuck a purple candle in the middle cupcake, and we all sang happy birthday underneath that bridge. Know who else sang? Heaven. Because the cupcake-buying and the candle-lighting and the song-singing: all the King of Heaven’s idea. Jesus is the Great-Birthday-Party-Thrower. 

Leaves are falling and I’ve been taping them to my bedroom wall. They're pretty. I look up there and remember the way God makes things change. It’s a hopeful relief. They’re different sizes and different colors from different woods and different trees, but they all change. 

I told the birthday boy that God bought the cupcakes because God likes celebrating him. Then I reminded him that God can change things, turning rotten into beautiful and broken into whole. 

“Things don’t have to be like this.”
He nodded, said “I know,” and thanked me for remembering his birthday. 

A lady who’s always got an aching leg laid on piles of blankets and cried when I told her God can help her life change. She said she believes that. The man sitting next to her said “I’m her boyfriend,” then asked if he could have another cupcake.

All 10 friends bowed their heads as the traffic on 65 South drove 70 miles per hour above us, some stayed laying on their cardboard beds, others stood next to me; we asked God to have His way in our lives. We said “amen,” ate autumn-colored cupcakes, and I heard God tell me how much hope He has. 

Jesus loves us. All of us.

He changes leaves and He changes hearts and He’s loaded with hope. 

Who can we celebrate today?